Thursday, March 07, 2013

10 ways to be a MediaMug

If you're a regular reader of my electronic billet-doux (see the yellow box to the right to subscribe), you will see a weekly award for the most inept media performance of the week. Naturally, I keep a record of what goes wrong, and the criteria that are ignored most often. 

So here are ten things that you should never do when faced with a reporter. 


  1. Stay silent. This will just make you look ridiculous on the TV news. Refusing to say anything says a lot.
  2. Become aggressive. An easy way to lose sympathy for your case is to shout and wag your finger.
  3. Hide. Don't duck behind your desk, especially if the cameras saw you go in to your office.
  4. Blame the media. Whenever I see this line taken, I see a reputation in decline.
  5. Run away. This also makes great TV. Stand your ground.
  6. Profess ignorance. If you know something, say so. You may have a reason you can't speak about it, but never claim to be ignorant if you aren't.
  7. Belittle the problem. It may be "not many affected", but for the victims, it's serious.
  8. Speculate without the facts. The truth will emerge. If you guessed wrongly, you're in trouble.
  9. Make no apology. Saying sorry is not a sign of weakness, or an admission of liability
  10. Lie. This will never do, and you will be found out.
Instead, the simple rule is to be honest, helpful and focused.

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